I hope that everyone had a great and wonderful weekend celebrating the 4th of July. I don’t want to undermine the importance of this great American tradition, but I want to share with you all the reasons we can celebrate EVERY day in the Lord!
Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. (NKJV)
For many centuries theologians, teachers and preachers translated this to mean that the day that the Lord made and the day we should be glad in was the Sabbath day. Some taught that it was the day that the Jewish people would be redeemed and finally acknowledge Jesus as the Christ. Still others taught that it was the day Christ was resurrected from the dead as that ultimate day to rejoice in.
Yet as time has past and knowledge has increased, both in the natural AND in the spiritual, our discerning of the Scriptures by the gifting of the Holy Spirit has also increased as foretold by the writers of the Good Book under the Holy Spirit’s very inspiration.
Also, and this is something that I believe being an observer and student of human behavior over the years, as we have matured spiritually as a Church universal, as a Body of Christ or as the Bride of Christ and as we have as a group become more intimate with our Redeemer and Master, we have also increased that way individually. Most likely the increase as a Body of Believers has come about because we have first increased in maturity as individuals first and those individuals then coming together in communion led to the coming together as a Body more complete in Christ.
Whichever way it transpired, it has been by the leading and inspiration of the Holy Spirit within our hearts, spirit and lives! This has done one thing greatly for sure, and that is viewing the Scriptures and viewing the Character of our Heavenly Father without limits! In other words, as we have matured, we have gradually ceased to “put Him in a box” so to speak spiritually.
This has led to new revelations or maybe the better term is “illuminations” into the Word of God as it is written. This opens up Scriptures such as Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
We don’t wonder anymore as to HOW do we rejoice in the Lord always. Because we know that number one, Joy, the very root of rejoicing is a Fruit of the Spirit and is something that is already seeded in us when we surrender to the Character of Christ Jesus. What we do with that seedling from that time on determines how much joy there is for us to spread around and to have multiply. Rejoicing is one of those avenues or ways in which to accomplish this.
We also know and realize now that rejoicing, or proclaiming joy is not based on an emotional feeling but rather on a spiritual fact! Joy, despite what the secular dictionaries try to describe it, is NOT based on happiness which is dependent upon the circumstances that surround us. Happiness is a natural, or “fleshly” emotion that is based on how I am feeling at any given time which is determined on our perception that everything is going my way. If I am not happy, then I am sad, and so forth.
Joy on the other hand is based on our relationship with the Father as the Prophet Nehemiah told the children of Israel when he stated, “—the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10). That joy is based on relationship for it isn’t just our joy in the Lord that gives us strength, but it is also the Lord’s joy IN US that gives us strength. Understanding this is a fairly new concept that has just started to be taught because we are realizing that in the past we have limited the Lord and to a degree His relationship with us. We thought the strength came only from us having joy in the Lord, when you open your heart AND understanding to the Holy Spirit; you see that it is also the LORD’S joy, His pleasure, His desires towards US that we gain strength from! In turn, when we realize that His joy is so much greater and so much more powerful, it is almost automatic that we want to proclaim that joy which in fact is the very act of REJOICING!
This brings me back to the Scripture that we love to quote in Psalm 118:24. No longer are we limiting the days that belong to the Lord. No longer do we realize that just ONE day is for Him and it is in that one day that we proclaim His joy, for that again would be limiting not only Him, but also limiting OUR joy in Him! If joy truly IS a Fruit of the Holy Spirit (and that is a rhetorical statement!) and is something that is expected to grow within us individually, why would we limit it? In fact, we would do all we could to allow it to grow and to spread, multiply and blossom in others!
So now, I am able to look at EVERYDAY as a day that the Lord has made (when in actuality this is and has been all along the truth!) and now I can REJOICE or proclaim the Lord’s Joy within me and my Joy for the Lord, each and every day!!
So, from now on, when you quote that Scripture and when you are proclaiming it as an encouragement to your brothers and sisters and those around you, recognize the truth that is inherent in that statement and proclaim it not just believing anymore but proclaim it KNOWING it to be a fact of TRUTH! Then you CAN and WILL truly rejoice in the fact that the day I am living today, has been made for me by my Lord and Redeemer. Don’t forget, each day that the Lord has made is also another day for HIM to have joy in each of us!!!
God bless you each and everyone on this day that the Lord has made, this day that we are rejoicing in and finding gladness in!!